Promotional stunt in non-existent town kills three people

September 15th, 1896

On this day in 1896, the celebrated "Crash at Crush" occurred 15 miles north of Waco in McLennan County. As a publicity stunt for the Katy Railroad, two railroad engines were deliberately crashed head-on at the non-existent "town" of Crush. Elaborate preparations and extensive publicity brought a crowd of more than 40,000 to witness the event. After a two-mile run the two engines, the bright green No. 999 and the brilliant red No. 1001, met in a fiery crash. Flying debris killed three people and injured six more. By nightfall the site was abandoned. In the early twentieth century Scott Joplin commemorated the event in his march "Great Crush Collision."

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Promotional stunt in non-existent town kills three people

September 15th, 1896

On this day in 1896, the celebrated "Crash at Crush" occurred 15 miles north of Waco in McLennan County. As a publicity stunt for the Katy Railroad, two railroad engines were deliberately crashed head-on at the non-existent "town" of Crush. Elaborate preparations and extensive publicity brought a crowd of more than 40,000 to witness the event. After a two-mile run the two engines, the bright green No. 999 and the brilliant red No. 1001, met in a fiery crash. Flying debris killed three people and injured six more. By nightfall the site was abandoned. In the early twentieth century Scott Joplin commemorated the event in his march "Great Crush Collision."

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

Share this article

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Get a Piece of Texas History in Your Inbox

With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
Get your Texas Day by Day delivered straight to your inbox: